REVIEW - The Polite Pig brings modern BBQ to Disney Springs

Apr 12, 2017 in "The Polite Pig"

The Polite Pig overview

The Polite Pig is now open in the Town Center at Disney Springs, serving modern BBQ in a fast-casual setting.

Operated by local Orlando restauranteurs James and Julie Petrakis, The Polite Pig is a sister restaurant to the popular Ravenous Pig in nearby Winter Park.

The Polite Pig menu is made up of seasonal ingredients, locally sourced where possible, with a focus on wood-smoked and grilled items.

Like several other Disney Springs restaurants, The Polite Pig offers a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, including a bar area - shared between the inside and outside spaces.

The restaurant has multiple entrances, with one on the front leading towards the bar area, and one on the side, which leads directly to the ordering area.

Located right beside the entrance to Disney Springs from the Lime Parking garage, foot traffic in the area is high. Expect the restaurant to get busy, and if eating outside, expect a lot of passers by.

Ordering Process

Being fast-casual, you need to place your order at the registers. Having done so, you receive a pager-type device that can be placed on your choice of table.

The system is the same as the one used at ABC Commissary in Disney's Hollywood Studios and is similar to the experience at Be Our Guest. Once the food is ready, it is delivered to your table.

The Dining Room

The 5000 sq. ft. restaurant has indoor seating for 200 guests, along with more space available on the outside. 

Taking on a rustic industrial look, the decor is very up-to-date, and looks great. It fits perfectly with the Disney Springs look, and like all of the Disney Springs locations, is a real credit to the interior designers.

There are a variety of different seating arrangements, from tables and counters to booths and high-tops.

An onstage kitchen gives a glimpse of the food being prepared, and is even equipped with counter seating alongside the kitchen for an extended view.

The atmosphere is very casual, and is a pleasant place to be. Noise is controlled, lighting just right, and the seat-yourself process means you can sit just where you like.

The Food

Given the owner’s reputations, we went in with very high expectations, and couldn’t wait to dive in.

The Polite Pig menu is split into Snacks and Salads, Sandwiches, From the Smoker, Market Sides and Desserts. View the full menu.

To get started, we went with the $10 Hop Salt Pretzel, served with Beer Cheese Fondue and IPA Mustard. 

It’s an impressive sight, hung from a stand and served on a tray along with the fondue and mustard. The pretzel itself was freshly baked, very enjoyable and is a good option to share for the table. The fondue and mustard added an extra bit of interest to the dish.

Moving onto the Sandwiches section of the menu, we next tried The Southern Pig. Priced at $12, the sandwich is Pulled Pork, Apple Slaw, Mustard sauce, and Duke's Mayo.

This is a great sandwich, well sized without being too large, and has a great mix of ingredients and flavor. We would have liked to have seen more meat, especially as the $12 price does not include any sides.

Marketed as a Modern BBQ restaurant, we were most interested in the “From the Smoker” section of the menu.

Any good BBQ establishment is judged by its brisket, so this is where we started. For $16, you get 3 slices of brisket, a choice of one side, and a piece of Texas Toast.

We really liked the flavor of the brisket. It wasn’t the most tender that we have had, but overall it was a really solid dish.

Make sure to grab some of the house made sauces on offer at the condiment station. The BBQ sauces are excellent.

Our second selection from the smoker was the Wild Salmon. Described as Maple-Mustard Glaze, and served with a choice of side, at a cost of $18.

Whilst there wasn’t anything wrong with this dish, it just wasn’t exciting. We couldn’t taste the glaze, it wasn’t a very large serving, and for $18 it is hard to recommend this menu item.

Now a word about the sides, each priced at $6. These were a complete mixed bag. The highlight was without question the Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Whiskey-Caramel. A good sized serving, and just a great side to pair with any dish. It is prepared in a way that would convert even those who don’t like Brussel Sprouts into a fan.

The Mac and Cheese was disappointing. Much like the salmon, there wasn’t anything wrong with it, but it was just plain and not very interesting.

Finally, the Baked Beans side was just flat out unpleasant. If you are expecting typical BBQ style beans, this is not that dish. The beans were undercooked, and the lemon, tomato and bacon combination just didn’t work.

Although not technically a side, the Texas Toast served with many of the dishes was also a great disappointment. It wasn’t much more than a toasted slice of bread. Very bland and dull.

None of the food was served hot, warm would be about the best it could be described. We were eating moments after the restaurant opened, and were served within minutes of sitting down, so whether this is normal or not remains to be seen. But everything we ate needed to be hotter.

Fortunately, dessert wiped away some of the shortcomings of the main dishes. The Orange Blossom Honey Cake delivers a vibrant citrus flavor, with a creamy moist texture that is a must do. For $7 it isn’t the largest of portions, but makes a good size individual dessert.

Unfortunately silverware is plastic, but servers are on hand to assist during your meal, and they do clear the tables at the end of your meal.

Drinks

The Polite Pig features five house cocktails on tap, including some crowd favorites from The Ravenous Pig, such as the Gin and Tonic and Old-Fashioned.

There is also Cask & Larder Brewery brews on tap, as well as a couple of other Florida/domestic craft beers.

Summary

The Polite Pig brings something new and different to Disney Springs in a number of ways. 

First, it is a restaurant located in the far end of the Town Center near to World of Disney, bringing a new option to that area of the property. 

Second, it offers a much needed quick service restaurant to Disney Springs that does not need a reservation, and is priced below $20 per person. 

And finally, it brings BBQ to Disney Springs - one of the few cuisines that hasn’t yet been fully represented.

From our visit today, it seems the kitchen is still perhaps getting to grips with service, and that this restaurant will get better. Some things we really liked, and others left us wondering why they were on the menu.

The sandwich, brisket and Orange Blossom Honey Cake stood out, and is perhaps worth a visit for those items alone.

We’ll be back for another visit, so check back for an updated review.

The restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan, and requires one Quick Service credit.

Operating hours are 11am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday, and 11am to 12am Friday and Saturday.

Discuss on the Forums
Article Posted: Apr 12, 2017 / 7:23am EDT